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March 11, 2005

MISSION COMPLETE

"It's over it's over it's over" As I sit here in Samuel W. Brassington's clothes it feels as though a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders. Our 'Medea' practical assessment is complete!

We arrived at 9 o'clock this morning and I began minor alterations to the set as well as a general tidy up of the acting circle as it was covered in brick dust. After this we had to wait a moment or two for the chorus to finish with their makeup and so on before we could begin a run through and a tech. I took this moment to label the lighting desk as to which channel did what, this was because the other group had already set some channels up (although the didnt tell us which ones, we hope we didnt change anything) and I wanted to make sure those channels werent lit up accidently .

The first run through was more than satisfactory as it was our 1st ever run through. Some brief changes regarding positioning and lighting (as well as projector modifications) were made to add an extra level of shine to the whole thing. The problem with our performance is it relied heavily on audience positioning that was impossible to forsee so we knew some improvisations would have to be performed for the actual performance.

I feel I wasnt as helpful to the group as I could have been during the performance as I had the 'sheet thrower' job. It was nice to get a birds eye view of the whole thing but I feel I didn't pull my weight enough during the performance, although I hope my work on the film and the whole teching side of things will tilt the scales to neutral.

In the final minutes before the performance, everything (as usual) went wrong, one of the sheets on the top of the booths fell off so I got the ladder and made running repairs, at the excact same time, two of the chorus' masks broke so I ran to Kate's office to make last minute repairs, reulting in a staple all the way in my finger (yes it hurt, but the show must go on) but I pulled it out and ran to position.

The performance itself went very well, despite a few audience misplacements (i.e. Our own Geraldine Cousin standing too far forward and missing the whole shadow show) This however was an unforeseen planning error and nobody's fault in particular, the whole of the chorus and the chaperones Ian and Hannah C. Tovey did very well to recover the situation by moving the audience to where they wanted them to be. Apart from Ricardo's accidental dropping of the lens cap (onto a girl may I add, inkeeping with the whole piece) the whole thing ran smoothly and I feel it was a successful piece of theatre.

From this experience I learnt that it is possible to make theatre with a large group of people by breaking up into smaller groups. I was worried that the seperation would result in a cluttered and unorganised piece of theatre but this was far from the case. Can I thank everybody in the cast, it has been a complete pleasure. There has been a band amongst brothers (but not sisters as that wasnt the point of the piece) formed, and I'm proud with what we made.

Also a special thanks to Hugh Denard for the total creative freedom given to us, and also I would like to thank Nick and Sam (2nd year) for their help with the editing, without them we'd still be scratching our heads at the computer.

MISSION COMPLETE


March 10, 2005

medea session 8

Now we start counting the hours!

Tomorrow, we are perfoming at 12 and I think we're nearly sorted. We have a few hours tomorrow morning to get everything straight then we're done. We are yet to run the whole thing in sequence, but as our production isnt really a performance I dont see this as a problem We basically spent all of today setting everything up. We were in for the later session so we decided to set up the studio for tomorrows performance as we are performing 1st. We, however did not realise the other group were going to be coming back in at 1 and we feel this may have caused a bit of tension, but hopefully we are all adults and can simply see this as a break down in communications rather than an evil act of sabotage, we are all the same class afteral, and I hope nobody forgets this.

Anyway, during the time when the ther group were practicing, myself and ricardo decided we didnt need lunch (lunch is for girls ;) haha! inkeeping with our theme) and tried to somehow get Ian and Rhys' video onto a DVD with ours. Ian then joined us and despite a few foul ups we got it sorted.

After this we went back into the studio to finish setting it up, and it is VERY impressive (pictures below). It is nice to be given such creative freedom and freedom to resources. Something I feel we havent been given in the past with other aspects of practice work.

The other groups work is looking brilliant too and I am eagerly awaiting seeing it performed as I hope they are with ours

here are some pictures:


March 09, 2005

You know when you're a theatre student when….

this is the conversation you have on the sidelines of a football match (meant to add this to the end of the AGM).

Sam: shouts Rothelite!! Stay on the gentleman in the fetching turquoise!

Ric: It's more of a sea blue to be honest.

Geth: I'd say sky blue

Ric: It's a nice colour.

Sam: We're not debating that it's a nice colour, but which colour is it?shouts Go to him Rothelite!!


Actington War Chest….bring on the transfer window!

TommyC anyone?


Afternoon Rotheliting & Schedule Talk

Follow-up to CHANGE OF SCHEDULE from 1 in a million, 2 is a crowd, 3 is company, 4's not allowed

Me Geth and Rotelite have been trying to contact every single Drama member to tell 'em of the schedule thing…just cos we're bored and plus cos we needed to.
Basically Sam changed the rehearsal times on his own and told everyone then sort of squared it with Hugh later and unfortunately for our group that wern't too good cos we werent consulted and I have a train booked that means I can't be here until 11 and Holly cannae do it either (she is ill, really ill)
So Sam has been a gent and helped us change it back to the original and even offered to pick me up from London tonight so I could make the rehearsal tomorrow. I s'pose we just all wanna put on the best show we can!!!

Anyway, our trip was rather exciting….we slide 'crude' notes under Elle's door, watched a film in bed with Zoe (briefly), talked about aubergines with Helen and found Pidge unavailable and shouting from her room – needless to say she sounded rather 'occupied'.

Here is our fun sheet that gave us so much joy:


CHANGE OF SCHEDULE

There's been a mix up
mix up
Kate Brennan will be informed

Original schedule to be adhered to please…..

Medea in at nine
Jason in at eleven

Jack, Geth, Roth, Sam etc…
x

sorry


March 08, 2005

New Vote

Writing about web page http://www.inbedwithjackanded.co.uk/vote.html

Please go here and VOTE if you are so inclined or inspired…..

Much love
x

"It started with one word.....'Rothelite?'"


Actington Stanley AGM 2005

Actington AGM 2005 Minutes

Present – Sam, Geth, Owen, Ricardo, Roth, Jack
NO APOLOGIES
MIA : Will, Rhys, Jimmy, Hugh

To be discussed
Assessments
Dinner Dance
Tom
Elections
Formation
Training
Any Other Business

Assessments

Collectively
Progressing, demoralisation an issue. Inside games or outside games Vote - 3 to each side, to be decided. From now on, the nicer Pitch to be booked whenever possible!

Owen
Bad performance today but very apologetic and humble. Salutes to him as the rock of our team over the last two terms. He's concerned about defense issues, would prefer more constant subs, a good 5 minutes is better than a poor 10.

Geth
Wet t-shirt competition. Improved fitness, dramatic personal improvement! Makes the point that we can't tackle, calls for more maleable passing. Today was best game of his season.

Roth
Square formation is way of the future. Pass the ball more often, not always rushing up. Going in to space. Capable of defense. Needs to be more decisive. Finds shouting from the sidelines helpful.

Will
Good goal scorer, good runner, but underachieving? Some fine goals, excellent up front but needs to be more defensively minded. Needs to come in deep so defenders can pass to hiim.

Jack
Solid, THE defense, good on the volley, good on the vision. MALEABLE, apologises for todays negativity.

Rhys
Fitness issues - quit the ol' smokes? hesitates on the ball. Positioning and tactical awareness excellent, never let's his height get him down, a great addition.

Sam
Soluble, available, playmaker, communicator, heart of the team, god. More shooting though, more freedom to be the king, whatever wherever.

Ricardo
NEEDS SHOES WITH GRIPS, falls on his arse to many times and slides around. Need a return to the aggression of the early season, needs more confidence and meeting the ball. Positive, maleable,good passing when actually has the ball, fouls well.

Roth
Powers of analysis excellent, needs to be more switched on. Indecision however a magnificent comeback from his retirement in Summer 2001, first game in years.Good passing and willingness to learn.

Jimmy
Ball control an issue, but enthusiastic, needs more pace and confidence. Needs to stay awake in lectures, we need him next season too!

Election Speeches
Speeches made for the election of next years Captaincy, still accepting speeches. Votes to be made secretly to Ricardo via MSN.

Gethins Election Speech – Notes
More organised

got up the most - commitment
taken extra responsibilities

Return of the Rota
Rothelite exempt from rota debate, claims (justified) ignorance

Gethins Innovations : Socials - too much tension at end of games
Fitness - don't turn into a pie

Sams Election Speech – Notes
Warming, Growing, captaining, changing, supporting, encouraging, delegationing, talking, texting, training, socialising, democracying, Jugging and Jestering, Varsitying, Making a Difference..........Football.
_Question : Does missing lectures have an adverse effect on play?
Answer : Cheltenham is detrimental to Actington. EXPERIENCE._

Tom
Offered Tom a contract, Jules acting as ambassador to Tom. Votes for Tom and his skills to join the team overwhelmingly in favour.

DINNER DANCE
Thursday 8:00 – Drink in Rootes social, bit of pool, bit of table football. Then company picnic outside battered, possible Rotheliting to follow. Dress Code : hats (and clothes). Hugh to be emailed, ALL WELCOME, esp. supporters.

Formation and Training
Tobe decided following captaincy vote.

Special Mentions
To Julia, who is constantly in support, excellent chanting and dancing and moral support, thankyou!!

To Hugh director of football, who is always with us in spirit.

Other business
BUTTER WORTH HALL BOOKED FOR THE NEXT AGM

RAFFLE – signed actington ball, do it for the kids.

ARE SAM AND GETH IN LOVE? – platonically probably, overwhelming vote in favour of the motion. Sam 'wouldn;t call it love as such'.

IS WILL A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT?

edit (for Jack)..................MSN ELECTIONS


March 06, 2005

Medea Session 7

YES! It's finally done! After a 12 hour session with Ricardo in the editing suite on Thursday, not to mention my midnight-4.30 run at trying to get it to work on my computer, I finally sorted it at about 2 on Friday. I went into the editing suite at about 11.30 on Friday, making the amount of time I spent on editing the film (not including filming it) about 20 hours and judging by people's responses I think it was worth it. The 3 and a half minutes of video has made me and Ricardo very proud.

We went into the editing suite completely clueless as to how to use the avid editing machines and came out 12 hours later as semi-pros (thanks to help from Nick and Sam 2nd year mainly) I think myself and Ricardo created a band amongst brothers during that 12 hour stint and I believe(d) we were on the same wave length. However those dreams were shattered on Friday when Ricardo told me he believe the Coen brothers (my heroes) were "over-rated". All of that bonding on Thursday was gone.

Anyway. On Friday we had a big meeting with our group and allocated all the little jobs that needed to be done. The art-work and the masks are now looking awesome(pictured below) and the whole thing is really coming together nicely. I am excited and confident that we will have a successful piece of drama come Friday.

So here are some pictures from Thursday and Friday:

Ricardo hard at work:

Artwork 1:

Artwork 2:

Masks:

On a completely seperate note, my lovely camera XL2 will be coming on Saturday! SGORIO!

P.S It has been brought to my attention that I have failed to credit the rest of the film group: Roth, Sophie, Sarah and Zoe. This wasn't a delibrate scorning attempt more of a careless omission. Sorry, if I have offended anybody. I wasn't taking anything away from you all, I was just saying how proud myself and Ricardo were when it was finished. To quote the greatest thing ever made "this tragedy effects us all" hahaha! So to conclude: Sorry, I'm a forgetful fool :(


March 04, 2005

while i'm in the blogging mood…..today I love…

Today (and admittedly on Wednesday) i love…..

the word 'CHEVRON'.

1) A badge or insignia consisting of stripes meeting at an angle, worn on the sleeve of a military or police uniform to indicate rank, merit, or length of service.
2) Heraldry. A device shaped like an inverted V.
3) A V-shaped pattern, especially a kind of fret used in architecture.

and…..isn't it something on the motorway, something to do with chevrons between cars? some kind of distance marked on the road?! ahhh, who cares, chevron is a top word!


March 03, 2005

Medea,session 6. Candle eating and the like

It's 20.30, i'm in the editing suite, and i've been here since 11.30! Myself and Ricardo have succesfully edited the film for our prac, but now things have gone…well I'm not going to dress it up, "tits up". It doesnt want to put its self in a format viewable on any exising media player, which is helpful.

I, in protest have eaten a candle and ricardo has resorted to…i dont know what to call it, basically hes balancing a chair on hishead and is doing pushing his head back and forth in an attempt to lose the "gullet" he thinks hes developed after looking at a photo on hanah clapham's blog.

I predict we will have to wait for Tim to come on tuesday until this will succesfully work, but in the meantime i feel an allnighter looks iminent.

Come save us please!!!


Medea 6– A hard days all–night'...Rothelite?'

So it comes to this, sat for my 8th consecutive hour in the editing suite, a can of Grolsh in my hand (dont tell Tim) many a bag of sweets in my stomach, company from Sam Smallman (2nd yr blokie) and Owen who paces the room nervously noting that we've been waiting for this rendering for about an hour now, and if this attempt fails 'like a poor quality piece of shit' like the last two attempts did, Owen will destroy one departmental camera an hour unless we are met immediately by someone who knows what they're doing. Our training was abismal, after spending half an hour working out that the computer we were using and the tape player we were using were not connected to each other by anything more than our good intentions, Nick (2nd yr) proposed the idea of moving on to another computer. This done it was a mere hour before we managed to familiarise ourselves with the controls and capture all the precious filming we've done. An hour on from this point having succesfully mastered the process of putting clips on the timeline, Rothelite entered to comment 'is that all you've done?'. Rothers was lucky to escape without a neutering.

However… apologies… Owen has just broken down in front of the computer as it fools him by starting another process, going from 100% to a brand new 0%. With his new sense of technological insecurity, Owen now claims he will eat a candle if the computer does not meet his demands. It's not the largest candle I've ever seen, but eating candles in general is something not to be taken lightly…..However, we eventually scraped the barrel of our clips, repeated a few and even considered running some in reverse, every clip was considered for slow motion, even the dialgogue, but there came a point when those with foresight to choose another element of the performance entered the room, they were met with gasps of glee (Owen's now chewing the end of the candle btw) because me and Owen had created something that could even be described as 'sexy' and has been, several times, accompanied by 'awws', and 'yeys' and by Roth's 'yes, Yes, YES!'.

That seems a very long time ago though, since then we managed to finish the film!! HURRAH HUZZAH! That is in the sense that we can play it end to end on the computer, how wrong we were to think it all over though. As the past 2 hours have involved missionary work to costcutters, an olympic sprint through arctic conditions to Whitefields for CD-Rs which are useless as the cd writer is playing up, not to mention candle eating, which is worrying me more and more.

On the plus side though, we made it to 4 minutes and Owen has resolved not to eat the wick. So by tomorrow, when we will stagger of the editing suite and straight to the seminar we should have our element of the installation, crisp and ready to go.

IF ANYONE FANCIES A BIT OF ROTHELITING OR ALL-NIGHTERING PLEASE COME AND JOIN US, WE'RE LONELY AND BY THE WAY THINGS ARE GOING, ALL THE ABOVE STATEMENTS ARE NOT A JOKE!


MEDEA WOMEN VS MEN

Writing about Medea Supplement – Categorising Women's Faults from The Good, the Blog and the Ugly

For The Rothelite:

JOKEY

Explosions and guns....
etcetcetcetcetcetcetcetc

see Roth's blog for our work…our task was to try and create a division between the genders during the piece and, judging by the debates in our workshop (women on one side, men + hannah on t'other) our lists were effective….

woman's list (ours is better!)


March 02, 2005

Medea 5– Riddles in the dark

Tuesday was all about the dialogue shots, we set up the studio with lights and shot segments of speech from the text being spoken by various members of our group, through the magic of editing we're going to put this into some coherent order with the effects from the maths department.

The shooting went very well, may even consider putting the blooper reel on dc++? Including such as classics as 'Haction!!' Don't want to give too much away though.

We'll be editing tomorrow and anymore shots we need doing


JimmyDavis?


Rhysssssssssss?


March 01, 2005

camcorder

Right, due to constant abuse from Ricardo about how much I talk about the new camcorder I'm going to be buying I decided to 'blog it' in an attempt to flush the plugging of it from my system.

Anyway. I currently own a Samsung VP-D20:

It is highly insufficiant and its one colour chip doesnt do it any favours. Don't get me wrong, it was a good first camera for me, but the one colour chip means that dealing with smokey or dark atmospheres results in a loss of focus or image, also colours come out bland and monotonous with it.

So, unsurprisingly, I decided it was time for an upgrade to this bad boy:

It is a Canon XL2, replacing the now aged Canon XL1s and XL1. It has 3 1/3" CCDs meaning its image is sharp and crystal clear and easily broadcast quality.

Now I can hear a lot of you camera-buffs asking why I dont get the new High Def Sony HDR FX1. Well I have to admit I was tempted, but the fact that High Def isn't compatible with about 80% of UK televisions and I can't really think of anything I'd like to shoot that would need to be in HD. And the DV recording on the FX1 is ever so slightly worse than that of the XL2. Basically I think that High Def is in too early a stage now for me to buy a camera that will easily be outdated and the HD-quality will be poor compared to the HD quality in the future, that's my prediction anyway.

So yes, I soon (probably over Easter, or maybe Summer) will be the proud owner of a Canon-XL2. I can't wait.

OwenXXX


February 25, 2005

Medea 4– Flipchart Pictionary

Todays session started off with Jack showing us how he'd been playing around with Margaret Thatcher. Jack and Ian have put together a couple of fantastic tracks mixing voice over and some incidental music, I think this is the one they decided they wanted in the booths, but I'm not sure.

The Collage group have expanded into doing a collage and two shadow screen performances, which we've incorporated into the main layout hoping they'll be happy with it.

Today was mainly about getting the piece planned as a whole, and what we wanted the audience to experience. At the expense of some of the freedoms we wanted to give the audience I think we're now confident that we have a fully planned piece with few grey areas. The biggest change to the previous incarnations of the piece was the decision to split the audience at the door into Male and Female in order to clearly set the themes in concrete from the beginning, but more importantly to give the two genders a very different experience and personalise the issue to them. Admittedly this means that the freedoms of the audience has been limited. But I like to look at it that now the audience is no longer in control, they're lost and stuck in the middle of this world but they have the freedom to explore it.

may have put the chorus in teh wrong place there, not sure..
We also talked alot about the performance, which is now a little difficult to explain but involves the relationship between Jason and Medea, the kids, a bedsheet, and death. woo.


Medea. Session 3

On Wednesday of this week, the film and performance group went out to film a test reel on my little 1CCD camcorder just to get a general idea of what locations would work and how.

This achieved several objectives. Mainly it enabled myself, Ricardo and Rothwell to story board the film project so that all we had to do Thursday was get the equipment [the departments very nice Panasonic DVX100 and 700 series Manfrotto tripod with if I'm not mistaken a 501 Manfrotto head] and just go out and film. We did this very succesfully and despite a few scenes we are done. We need to book studio time next week for the dialogue scenes and then next Thursday we will crack on with the editing on the very nice Avid Editing Machines they have in the dept's editing suite.

The group were a coherant and well oiled unit I felt during the filming process, I do feel however I may have been slightly over bearing as a cameraman as I have a passion and knowledge of camera operation. But I think everybody who wanted to had a chance to be involved in both technical and peformance aspects of the film making process. If I offended anybody in my group by 'taking control' I sincerely apologise.

Before we went out filming on thursday, we had a discussion about the possibilities of a Male Vs Female theme throughout our piece and both groups [male group and a female group] made up lists of things about the opposite sex that annoyed them. The results were both heated and interesting. And we strived to incorporate the finding into our film.


Medea 3– Professional film buffs (need a hat)

A lot of clarification of the style, subject and content of the film+performance has spontaneously occured over the past couple of days.

Yesterday (Wednesday) the Buffs (Me, Sophie, Zoe, Sarah, Joyo, the Rothelite and Rhyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyssssssssssssssssssssssssssss) went on a trip to maths department (after discovering its film worthiness in our location scouting) with Owen's camera to basically shoot anything that looked good. Avoiding freezing in the cold me, Owen and Roth sat down and went over the shots we'd just taken and tried to make sense of it.
Here's the list, which unfortunately probably won't mean much to those who haven't been involved:

So I deleted it.

When we started today though, we realised we hadn't thought about the themes enough, so Hugh suggested that since there were three girls and three blokes that we all took some time to belittle the opposite sex. So for all you bloggers, me, James and Owen bring you some of our observations on the fairer sex. These are wildly accurate generalisations of course.

Don't you just hate it....

when they assume you can't understand anything they're going through just because you haven't got ovaries.

IRRATIONALITY

when they say that we should know what's wrong with them, and what to do, even though the rest of the time they say we can never understand.

Technological incompetancy

Having to explain films, especially at the most innapropriate times

Innapropriate over-giddiness

Moody, makes you assume it's your fault and then won't explain what's wrong.

Assume no man can be trusted, but all women can

Saying things that something didn't mean anything, when it clearly did.

Where as every woman is seen as a deep and meaningful person, men are always put into stereotypes.

Bitchiness with other women.

If a blokes in a mood he's an idiot, but if the woman is then the man has to adapt.

A man can move on from an argument after an hour, a woman still hasn't moved on after a week.

My personal favourite – They can't understand why explosions are cool.

Talking about the good things about their ex's.

This was all in good fun and of course the girls came up with more points about us, hopefully they'll blog them. So in time honoured tradition we let them believe that they'd won (of course we did really)

Filming
Yet to see how we'll use this in the performance, but with these ideas for the dialogue shots we decided since we'd booked the camera to go out and do the effects shots.

My personal Favourite is the 'In the midst yet misunderstood shot', it's an old trick but a goody. I stand perfectly still for ten minutes and have to suffer maths students who think they're comedians and French people further lowering my respect for their countrymen. Then we speed the shot up and it results in a minute of the world spinning around me. Everybody else going about their business except me and the camera, a bit Spice Girls 'Two become One' with less skirt and innuendo.

Hopefully we've now got pretty much all of the location shots and the work will now move in to the studio for the dialogue. Which at the moment seems like it's going to be a combination of lines from the play and the ideas we came up with after Hugh's suggestions. The structure we came up with on wednesday was a repeating 4 minute piece with mini-scenes of dialogue punctuated by effects shot sequences.

Me, Roth and Owen also invaded the editing suite and almost died of joy, in fact I wouldn't be suprised to find Owen huddled over the cameras gollum-style whispering 'my precious', that is, if I didn't know that his 'precious-to-be' kicks the ass of all the departmental cameras. Just add the phrase 'but my camera does it even better' to every statement you could make about the history of cinematography.

Very excited to find out about what the other mini-groups have come up with in the full group session tomorrow, especially after seeing the Homebase team banging away at their masterpiece yesterday. We've been criticised by members of the other group for taking the 'easy road' by splitting in to smaller teams, but it's clear from talking to people that everything we're doing is being considered as part of the whole rather than seperate sideshows. This is the most excited I've been in any of the practical modules so far, I really think this presentation's going to be fantastic.


February 20, 2005

Medea. Session 2

Medea. Session 2

I'm saying sorry for the delay in posting this, but it was due to an unexpected error in accessing the Warwick Blog.

Anyhow, we began today's session with a whole group meeting in an attempt to give some direction to the whole project. This was due (in part) to growing worry that the different groups (within our group) will contradict each other. The general and deliberately vague theme we have chosen is Gender. The other choice was the Myth I have discussed in my last blog entry.

Film and Performance

Some of the separate groups within our groups are working directly with each other [I.E. The Film and Performance element]. It was decided that we wanted to contemporise the original play. This is to show a relevence between Medea (the play) and a modern day audience. One of the main ideas we wanted to use to depict this are transitions between Medea (the character) and Jason as well as any other characters. The way we play on doing this is by for example:

Long shot Medea smoking a cigarette <short transition> Profile Hand holding a cigarette <short transition> Long shot Jason smoking a cigarette etc.

This does not apply exclusively to the characters I have mentioned. I also like the idea of simply using members of the public in an attempt to bring an element of relevance to the piece. The rough foundations for this idea came from a comparison to the videos played at Alton Towers whilst waiting to ride 'The Oblivion'. There is a video of a man speaking and then a brief flash and a different person replaces them.

Macro Shots and Chiascuro Lighting

Whilst discussing various ways of filming and mood we wanted to create, one common ground we kept returning to was the macro shots employed in Darren Aronofsky's Requiem For a Dream. For those of you who haven't seen the film or who aren't aware of what macro shots are, they are a series of short shots which represent a certain action that could take a long time. In Requiem For a Dream, the cinematographer Matthew Libatique uses a series of shorts to represent drug use (i.e. heroin boiling on a spoon, pupils dilating etc.) Matthew Libatique also incorporates very pronounced noises so that it is a very rhythmic experience. We are thinking of using this technique especially during the murder scenes that we will incorporate in the film.

We are also considering using a chiascuro lighting effect as used within the film noir genre. This is an effective tactic to show short snippets of light and action. This will hopefully be effective and helpful as we are working with a very small budget.

Location searching

Myself, Rothwell and Ricardo went location hunting after Friday's session, paying particular attention to the maths building and university house as both buildings have pillars but are both very modern. This in our opinion would be ideal for contemporising a Greek play as there is the suggestion of Greek society with the pillars however the structures are very modern.

The photos from the location search have been uploaded to my blog gallery entitled 'Location
give me a few minutes to upload them though

Owen


February 19, 2005

Medea 2– clarification of ideas

The Session on friday began as usual in a group brainstorming and telling the ideas we'd all had. After we clarified what themes were central to the performance, (opposition of the sexes, and how this conflict can have repurcussions) we came together in our groups.

The Film and live perfomance group have merged somewhat as the interactivity between them is key to each of them working.

So Me, Owen, Rothelite, Sophie and Sarah sat down and threw about ideas:

Contemporising the story; could the film be a modernisation in terms of mise en scene etc. Grimy and seedy backstreets style to the presentation and/or characters?

Using more than one couple, several actors would take the issues from being about a relationship to being about society in general and depersonalise the opposing sexes.

Several ways of transferring the attention of the film from actor to actor, here's a couple:
Shot of actors upperbody,smoking->shot of ashtray, hand puts down fag, in the same shot another hand picks up the fag -> identical shot to first but with different actor smoking
One actor in foreground in focus and other in background blurred, effect like that of a flickering light bulb but flickering between images of both actors and then stabalising on the the other.

We've had a lot of inspiration from Requiem for a Dream (an AMAZING film, one of the best arguments against drugs and the most haunting soundtrack ever) with certain cinematic effects. For example; Macro shots that show a series of relevant objects/things in a sequence that is repeated; 'the camera walks with you shot' (you have to see it to understand); the beautiful effect of speeding things up ever so slightly to make things unnatural, give it the Verfremdungs effekt as an English + Theatre student might say; Requiem has a way of showing the perceptions of it's characters (love the fridge!) that I think is an important point when it comes to showing the themes and motivations of the male/female personas in the film.

Chiascuro lighting creates a great atmosphere of suspense <-> fear. It's used most frequently in Film Noir (Maltese Falcon, Chinatown, The Man who wasnt there, Minority Report etc.) with having the light source behind some kind of grid like window blinds or a roof fan etc. there is a pattern of light created only ever revealing half of what is there. This is a great way of creating a tragic-dramatic atmosphere instantly and I think it would be great to use to immediately establish the seriousness of the situation and struggle present in the themes.

There remains some indecision on the nature of the relationship between the film and the live performance, mainly because we haven't thought about the performance very much. Personally though I'd like the film and performance to mirror each other, possibly in the sense that one or the other showed the opposing forces in the sex-war. This connects to the idea of the female/male being in the foreground/the background and then vise versa.

Some general thoughts
There seems to be a lot of focus throughout the group as a whole that the film is a centre piece, I think I speak for the film/performance group that this shouldn't be the case. Just as the film is a supporting element to the performance, the two should be a support to the whole experience of the INSTALLATION. The piece should be affecting people from all sides, there shouldn't be focus purely on the film when it's going on.

With this in mind I suggest that the film shouldn't have a plot as such, but be abstract in order to create the necessary effect without drawing the audience into this one aspect of the whole.

I'm also very keen on using lines from the play to keep us rooted in Medea and not going off on too much of a tangent, this would be in keeping with my abstract point but also giving the film a clear meaning.

Location, location, location

Me Owen and the Rothelite went location searching (check the gallery) despite upsets like my stupid mistake in not putting the film into my camera properly and losing some good shots, we have a selection of locations that could be used. Since we're not entirely sure of the content of the film yet we went to a range of locations on campus, the closest thing we have to classical architecture (the pillared Maths Block and cathedral-like University house) and some natural locations in the Gibbet Hill wood.

Despite some great locations I still prefer any 'scenes' or dialogue to take place in a controlled interior space like the studio, I think to have too many 'natural' real life locations will detract from the supporting role of the film, too much detail I think will just make it too 'interesting' (not in the sense that we don't want the film to be interesting but that


February 17, 2005

Medea 1–Jason's Fan Club

1st Session of our Medea group

A quick recap of my arguments for why Jason deserves sympathy:

1)Medea never considers any other possible outcome than revenge over Jason, even if you take for granted that revenge is the only course of action, in my opinion it should only be taken out on those that deserve it, The children are innocents and the weight of the tragedy of their death is laid on Jason's shoulders. He was still their father and he certainly cared enough to persuade Creon and his new wife to let them stay. In the words of Owen, 'fathers for justice'.

2)Medea's been dumped,divorced and had a restraining order on her, but considering she murdered her own family we'd condemn her much more in present day conditions. Jason owes her his life, but it's clear she's more than a little unhinged in an obsessive way, lacking in empathy, back in civilisation Jason has probably started to be a little repulsed by his wife. He knows that she'll be cast out of Corinth, but knows that she has friends in Athens and the children can either go there, or as he later persuades Creon, stay in Corinth. Jason tries to make it an amicable divorce.

3)I'm not a fan of thinking that individuals should be pressured by society, it always seems inevitable that this divorce is going to happen and the proceeds can not be stopped. Considering that Medea is a woman who kills her own children, Jason probably thinks this is the easiest way of letting Medea down gently, after all, this way it's 'all society's fault'.

Obviously I can see all the reasons why Medea would deserve sympathy, but even as the Medea supporters said, it's difficult to sympathise after she slaughters her own children horrifically with a sword, considering that she is an expert in poisoning this seems to be a cruel way to mercifully kill her own children.

Notes
These are the notes I came up with during our visit to the library, from what books Gethin and Will didn't make off with. ;)

Two differing variations of the original myth –
1)Medea attempts to make her children immortal resulting in their accidental deaths. In this version Jason & Medea inherit the throne of Corinth and become king and Queen.
2)Medea's children killed by the Corinthians in revenge for the murder of their king.

Euripedes frequently used his artistic license to adapt myths, no one is absolutely sure whether his version was another actual myth or his interpretation. Most Scholars think his interpretation.

Despite the fact that Medea is linked to the supernatural in many respects and her actions can be seen as 'above human ethics', however Euripedes goes out of his way to make her seem more human, bringing her down to that questionable human level.

'She views her renewal of criminal resolve a return to sanity' suggesting that she views herself on this supernatural level living by the same rules as the gods or heroes (eg.Achilles)

Euripedes – Medea is bound by mortal rules
Medea – Medea is descended from the gods and above the rules.

The Presentation

Our primary theme of the conflict between Media&Jason /Male&Female/ etc. and the consequences of this kind of conflict on the innocents was the starting point of our conversation that lead to an exploration of different technicalities we could use in an installation style of theatre. here are some of the ideas;

Use of projected film combined with live theatre – debate on the relationship that there could be between the mediums, yet to be decided.

Possibilities – The action between them overlaps; they both display different sides of the argument; one reinforces the other; there is a concious relationship between people on the screen and on the stage.

Ideas – One displays Medea's point of view, the other Jasons; The screen displays the consequences of the events on stage;Two or more screens projecting a film based on the events.

Use of recorded sound
Those that had been outside interviewing people in the street suggested that we should use what had been said about Medea's actions as soundbites over the speakers.

Collage
A large collage of relevant material is intended to be displayed for people to view.

Use of lighting
It was suggested that the lighting should be quite minimal and the audience be given torches so that they were in control of what they saw and how they interpreted it. This would be particularly effective with the collage as the audience revealed parts of it at a time.

Tableaux
It's agreed there should be focus at some point on some live theatre..

We have split into groups to consider these different aspects of the piece. I elected to be in the Film group with Owen, Rhys, and James. These groups will be maleable as the development process and people's jobs may change where needed.


February 11, 2005

Into The Wardrobe

Come see my short but sweet Warwick theatrical debut – 'Into the Wardrobe'. It's a short (about 50 mins) play, surreal, funny in a quirky way. Written by a member of Codpiece, acted by members of Codpiece, quite 'Codpiece' in it's style. (Plugging Codpiece a bit here) Not sure how much it's going to be on the door, but it's only to cover the cost of hiring the cooler so it shouldn't be much.

It's on next Saturday (26th Feb) at 5:15 in the Cooler.

Look out for the posters going up soon!

edit – Unfortunately the play is void of anything from Narnia, I wish it had some talking animals in it as much as the next man!


February 02, 2005

Scabby McScab

For those of you who have been lucky enough to see me recently you may be wondering what the funk has happened to my face. I shall explain…

after a very alcohol fuled Top B and an after party in Jack Martin it was decided we should have a piggy back race on the way home. I did warn that carrying me is a disasterous idea, but would they listen. no. So then Tom, whos back i was on, was running quite fast and we decked it. I flew over his head gashing my entire face on the floor. Very painful…..

now I look like this….....